The New York Racing Association, Inc. joined Assemblymember Carrie Woerner, philanthropist John Hendrickson and representatives from Saratoga Hospital, the Backstretch Employee Service Team and the New York Thoroughbred Horseman's Association for a ribbon-cutting to celebrate the opening of the new Saratoga Backstretch Clinic at historic Saratoga Race Course on Tuesday.
The Saratoga Backstretch Clinic will allow Saratoga Hospital and BEST to expand on the existing healthcare services offered to members of NYRA's backstretch community. Located just inside Gate 16, the backstretch clinic was constructed over the past year to replace a doublewide trailer that previously housed on-site healthcare services at Saratoga Race Course.
“The good that comes of projects like this one is incalculable, serving as a benchmark in our industry on how we take care of and provide amenities and access for the backstretch community,” said NYRA President and CEO David O'Rourke. “This clinic is going to be indispensable in what it does for the well-being of the community. This will allow Saratoga Hospital and BEST to take this (clinic) to a world-class level and it's incredible.”
Hendrickson funded the construction of the backstretch healthcare clinic as a tribute to his late wife, Marylou Whitney. Hendrickson said of the ground-breaking that “this is a really great day and I know Marylou is looking down and is extremely happy.”
“They say health care is the foundation of every community,” Hendrickson added. “This fantastic new facility will improve lives and save lives. The backstretch now has a state-of-the-art medical facility that they truly deserve. Marylou thought that Saratoga should be the summer place for everyone, especially for those who take care of our beloved thoroughbreds.”